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St Williams Way consultation summary response


Norfolk County Council was recently awarded £1.2 million from the Department for Transport's (DfT) Active Travel Fund to invest in local infrastructure projects that support the promotion of walking and cycling as an attractive and convenient transport mode for shorter journeys.

Bearing in mind changes in people's travel habits during the global pandemic, this is an opportune time to encourage more people to walk or cycle, reduce congestion on our roads and deliver a wide range of health and environmental benefits to residents.

The proposal

With this funding, we are currently proposing to introduce a mandatory cycle lane with light segregation and double yellow lines along the length of St Williams Way (just west of Thor Loke to Margetson Avenue) to improve safety and encourage more people to cycle. The consultation letter and plan we sent residents explaining our proposals in more detail can be found on our St Williams Way consultation hub (opens new window).


The consultation ran from 5 March to 26 March 2021.

A total of 214 letters were sent and 78 responses were received, giving an overall response rate of 36%. 74 responses came directly from local residents, representing 43% of the 172 households included in the consultee list.

Of those who responded to the consultation, 35% (27) were in favour of the proposal and 59% (46) raised a concern or objection. 6% (5) gave a neutral or mixed view but were all in favour of (or neutral to) the proposed introduction of double yellow lines, as were a further 3 residents who objected to the overall proposal.

A total of 4 formal responses were received from the following statutory consultees; Norfolk Constabulary, Norwich Cycling Campaign, The Norwich Society and Thorpe Town Council.

The Norwich Society and Norfolk Constabulary supported the overall proposal but questioned the use of segregators for the light segregation. Norwich Cycle Campaign were also in broad support but requested further protection for cyclists through the staggered crossing at Williams Loke.

Thorpe Town Council objected to the proposal on a number of grounds but also acknowledged traffic speeds as a major concern and recognised the need for a mandatory cycle lane in some form.

Full responses to all concerns raised by residents and statutory consultees through the consultation have been included in the Frequently Asked Questions summary below.

Frequently Asked Questions


Cycle lane bollards are a danger to motorists

The aim of this proposal is to provide better facilities for those cycling already and encourage more people who wish to cycle but are discouraged due to safety concerns. The 'Gear Change' vision document released by central government in 2020 clearly sets out that "cyclists must be physically separated and protected from high volume motor traffic, both at junctions and on the stretches of road between them". Reference is also made that cycle routes on busy roads should not be marked out only with road markings as people will generally perceive these to be unacceptable for safe cycling.

We are currently reviewing the most appropriate use of segregators for cycle lanes and will ensure those selected in this location are suitable in terms of safety.

The cycle lane segregators would be set inside the solid white line of the cycle lane. The Highway Code states that 'vehicles must not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation', so we anticipate instances of collision to be rare. It should be noted that vehicles will still be able to enter the cycle lane to access driveways and to allow loading and unloading activities.

The proposed scheme will undergo detailed safety assessments by our highway safety team throughout the design process and also post construction.

Regarding comments received around the damaged bollard in the vicinity of the Laundry Lane junction, we can confirm our highway team placed warning cones around the base to warn both cyclists and motorists while a replacement was sought. This has unfortunately taken longer than anticipated so the base unit has now been temporarily removed. The aim going forward is for the same segregators to be used for all highway schemes, enabling a quicker response should any need to be replaced.

The current bollards are not visible at night

The cycle separators installed on St Williams Way comply with Cycling England and Sustrans guidelines for continuous and light segregation and were rated highly in trials for safety, visibility, and ease of use.

As part of our review into cycle separators we will examine the most suitable product, ensuring the segregators selected provide good visibility in all light conditions for all road users.

Cycle lane bollards are a danger to cyclists

The proposed mandatory cycle lanes will be a minimum width of 2m providing ample space for people to safely cycle past the segregators and the type of wand/base units selected will ensure maximum visibility, both in the daytime and at night. The proposed measures will undergo a full risk assessment by our Highways Safety team both pre and post construction - as is the case in other areas of the city where these measures have already been used with no significant safety issues highlighted to date.

The bollards will obstruct me from reversing onto my driveway

The exact positioning of individual separators will be determined through the detailed design process ensuring no driveway access is obstructed.

The bollards will look unsightly and devalue my home

Installing segregators will provide a uniform look to St Williams Way, complimenting the measures already in place around the Thunder Lane section. The proposed double yellow lines will help to reduce damage to the verge and any unsightly appearance associated with this.

Use of bollards encourages cars to speed / drive closer to cyclists than they otherwise would

The proposals to reallocate some of the road space to cyclists by widening the existing cycle lane will reduce the vehicle running lane widths on St Williams Way. Reductions in vehicle lane widths generally lead to a reduction in vehicle speed without causing any significant reduction in vehicle capacity.

The installation of separators will provide those cycling with a protected area of road space.

Why not just use a painted white line without the bollards and police double yellow lines?

The 'Gear Change' vision document released by central government in 2020 clearly sets out that cycle routes on busy roads should not be marked out only with road markings as people will generally perceive these to be unacceptable for safe cycling. The segregators are designed to act as a barrier to protect people while cycling.

On-street parking enforcement in Norfolk is carried out by Civil Enforcement Officers managed by local councils. These officers carry out any policing/enforcement of double yellow lines as required to ensure compliance.

Why don't you put bollards in the verge instead to prevent parking?

Bollards in the verge would not prevent people from parking in the road and obstructing those cycling in the cycle lane.


Street cleaning and drainage

Street cleaning/drainage - dirt accumulation around islands

Street cleaning is undertaken by District Councils and any concerns regarding this should be made to Broadland District Council.

The bollards prevent street cleaning and will cause issues with drainage, particularly from churn generated from verge parking

Street cleaning is undertaken by District Councils. As the gap between the kerbline and separator is greater than 1.5m, a small road sweeper could be utilised. Areas around the separators could be hand swept if necessary. The proposed double yellow lines will prevent parking on the verge as well as on the main highway which will reduce drainage issues caused by churn.


Cyclists, traffic and pedestrians

The cycle lane makes cyclists vulnerable to left turning traffic at junctions (particularly at Thunder Lane and Williams Loke)

The introduction of the wider, segregated cycle lanes will not make those cycling vulnerable to left turning traffic at junctions. Cycle lanes already run across the Williams Loke junction and other side roads. The placing of separators on the approach to junctions, similar to the separator installed in advance of Thor Loke, offers some protection to cyclists from left turning vehicles and reduces vehicle entry speeds.

No safety incidents have been recorded since the Thunder Lane section was completed and the proposed scheme will be subject to full safety audit in design and construction.

How will the cycle path be impacted by the pedestrian crossing near Williams Loke?

Segregation between cycles and motor vehicles is unlikely to be achieved through the extents of the controlled crossing due to the restricted road widths and relatively narrow footways. This will be considered further at the detailed design stage to confirm the specific layout of the cycle lanes and pedestrian crossing which will be guided by safety audit to ensure a safe environment is provided for all road users and pedestrians.

People will still cycle on the pavement, what are you doing to tackle that?

By making it safer to cycle on the carriageway, this should encourage people to cycle more responsibly and not feel the need to cycle illegally on the pavement.

We will be delivering a sustained behaviour change and cycle training programme to increase usage and provide education in responsible use.


Parking and access concerns

Proposed double yellow lines will increase verge parking

The proposed double yellow lines will prohibit parking both on the verge and carriageway. Any vehicles parked on the verge will be liable to be issued with a parking ticket.

How will people access my property - deliveries, tradesmen, visitors with limited mobility etc?

Loading and unloading for very short periods of time is still allowed which means vehicles can pull up to make deliveries, tradesmen can unload tools etc and visitors can stop to collect and drop off passengers, medicines etc. The majority of properties have ample off-street parking for visitors and tradespersons who may need to access properties for longer.

Won't the loading rules mean people still block the cycle lane?

This is true, but such instances will be temporary in nature as the exemption only refers to stopping on double yellow lines whilst actively loading/unloading, rather than causing a longer term obstruction. This presents a considerably safer environment for those cycling than the current situation.

What about access to St Williams Way Primary School, Thorpe Health Centre and the Library, all situated on Williams Loke?

There is a good level of parking available for those wanting to travel to the health centre and library by car and these proposals do not restrict vehicle access to these premises or reduce the amount of parking space available in Williams Loke.

The provision of safer cycling facilities on St Williams Way will help to encourage more children, parents/carers and visitors to cycle to school rather than drive. All schools are encouraged to have a travel plan to support safe and sustainable journeys to and from school and we are happy to discuss with the school how these safer cycling facilities can support their plan.

The library, health centre and primary school were all included within the consultation and no concerns around access have been raised.

Will a comprehensive Traffic Management Plan (including proper enforcement) be produced to provide adequate protection to the neighbouring side roads who will see an increase in street/verge parking and to preclude illegal parking between the segregators? For instance the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on Furze Road, Broom Avenue, Gorse Road & Aerodrome Road

A comprehensive Traffic Management Plan has not been produced for a scheme of this size but consideration has been given to how local traffic may be affected. The majority of properties situated along the proposed extents of the double yellow lines have off-street parking, often for several vehicles, which removes the need to park on the road in many instances.

While multiple concerns have been raised around loading and access for visitors, only a very limited number of responders to the consultation have stated they have insufficient driveway space for existing vehicles.

Where a similar scheme was introduced on the eastern end of St Williams Way, few issues have been reported of vehicles continuing to park within the restricted cycle lanes. Vehicles can continue to stop for the purposes of loading and unloading only. Any impacts of the scheme will be closely monitored to identify any further measures that may need to be considered.

On-street parking enforcement in Norfolk is carried out by Civil Enforcement Officers managed by local councils. We will make them fully aware of these proposals and liaise with them around any concerns raised locally, should this be necessary.


Effect on residents and surrounding areas

Will the council compensate residents for the loss of amenity, impact on property values, garden modifications etc?

No property has an automatic entitlement to on street parking and highway restrictions on any busy A class road are to be expected. The majority of properties situated along the proposed extents of the double yellow lines have off-street parking, often for several vehicles, which removes the need to park on the road in many instances.

The council can legally make changes to the highway to improve safety and is not obliged to offer compensation or allowance for an assessment by a RICS surveyor.

Impact on side streets will make these roads less safe

The likely level of displaced parking caused by this proposal is low given the amount of off-road parking that is available and is not considered significant to affect the safety of any side roads.

Impact on side streets will cause conflict/bad feeling among local residents/displaced vehicles of visitors

The likely level of displaced parking is considered to be low. If cars are parked responsibly in accordance with the highway code there is no reason for this to be the case.

The scheme proposed will harm the value of my property, will NCC pay for a RICs qualified surveyor to assess the impact and provide compensation?

The council can legally make changes to the highway to improve safety and is not obliged to offer compensation or allowance for an assessment by a RICS surveyor.


Diverting funds elsewhere

Could provision for lay-by parking be made for visitor parking for St Williams Way residents by remodelling some of the grass verges along the road?

The majority of properties situated along the proposed extents of the double yellow lines benefit from off-street parking, often for several vehicles, which removes the need to park on the road in many instances.

The funding that has been secured from government to provide the segregated cycle lanes is not sufficient to fund any works to accommodate parking.

Why don't you improve the pavements?

We are aware there is currently some overgrown vegetation on the south side pavement which may restrict pedestrian movement. We will get this tidied up as part of our overall works. The removal of parking on the verge will also make it easier for those using the pavement.

Funding for these proposed works is limited to improving the environment for cycling. We will conduct a survey of the pavements in this area and see what essential maintenance works may need to be carried out.

Any issues relating to pavement condition can be reported on our pavements page.

Why don't you segregate pedestrians and cycles on the pavement instead?

The use of pavements to provide an area where those walking and cycling are segregated would require extensive and costly reconstruction of the pavements, verges and accesses to property. We do not have sufficient funding for works of this nature.

Why don't you fix potholes and resurface the highway elsewhere?

The funding we have secured from central government for these proposals is restricted to improving cycle infrastructure in this particular area and cannot be used for general maintenance of roads. Highway maintenance is funded separately. Highway defects can be reported online at on our report a problem page

Why don't you use Gordon Avenue instead?

Whilst Gordon Avenue is part of an existing pedalway route (Green Pedalway) and provides a helpful route to the Lionwood Junior School as well as the city centre, St Williams Way provides a direct connection to the shops and services at the Heartsease roundabout off Plumstead Road, as well as convenient access to St Williams Primary School, library and medical centre. Given the higher traffic flows on St Williams Way, funding has been prioritised to improve the cycling environment here instead of Gordon Avenue.

What about the Laundry Lane to Sainsburys section?

At the moment, there are no plans to provide additional cycle infrastructure along the ring road from Laundry Lane to Sainsburys. This will be kept under review as we continue to monitor cycle flows and demand across Greater Norwich.

What about tackling speeding?

St Williams Way has an existing 30mph speed limit and traffic count data that we have indicates that speed compliance is generally very good and most drivers adhere to the speed limit.

Safety cameras can be effective at reducing vehicle speeds and are generally used at sites where collisions are clustered around a particular point or location. A fixed speed camera situated on St Williams Way would not be appropriate given the low accident record and good compliance with the existing limit. The reductions in vehicle lane widths to accommodate the wider cycle lanes should lead to a reduction in vehicle speed.

Why don't you improve the crossing facilities?

We are currently looking at options for improving the Heartsease roundabout to provide a safer environment for those walking, cycling and driving.

A new pedestrian refuge was added on St Williams Way in the vicinity of Thor Loke last year and the existing staggered crossing near Williams Loke will remain in place.


Justification and concerns over plans

The road is wide and safe already, what is the justification for this proposal - evidence of usage/safety record etc?

The purpose of the proposed mandatory cycle lanes and double yellow lines is to provide a safer environment for cycling along a very busy A-class road.

These proposals have been suggested following safety concerns previously being raised that parking within the existing advisory cycle lanes forces those cycling to exit the cycle lane into the path of vehicles. These works will fully complement and extend the existing provision of mandatory cycle lanes provided on the eastern stretch of St Williams Way and are consistent with government guidance that half of all journeys in towns and cities are to be cycled or walked by 2030. That same guidance clearly sets out that physically separating bike tracks on main roads is the most important thing that can be done to promote cycle use.

The most recent information we have from October 2019 showed that 101 people were observed cycling eastbound on St Williams Way during the period from 7am-7pm, with 96 observed cycling westbound.

The aim of the proposals is not only to improve just for current use but for future use too. Where investment has been made in cycle facilities across Norwich over the past few years, we have seen, on average, an increase in the number of people cycling by around 40%. It is recognised that road safety concerns are a significant barrier to people contemplating cycling as an alternative mode of transport, which this scheme aims to address.

The number of responders to the consultation highlighting speeding traffic as a major concern on St Williams Way and expressing a need for greater enforcement further highlights the need to improve cycle safety.

We've heard this is a 'done deal' and these plans are already 'set in stone'?

We are aware of some conversations and literature circulating in the local community following reference being made to this scheme in the Highways Capital Programme paper taken to the March 2021 County

Council Cabinet Meeting as part of the Active Travel Fund from central government.

For context, the County Council is aiming to deliver a Highway Capital Programme of some £187 million in the financial year 2021/22 ranging from the major scheme for the Third River Crossing Bridge at Great Yarmouth to smaller maintenance schemes such as footway refurbishment. The purpose of this programme is to plan the resources required to deliver the projects and agree a draft 'baseline' programme with our main contractors.

This programme is not 'set in stone' and is subject to frequent change throughout the year. The timing and content of schemes can change as they are developed, particularly those where changes to infrastructure are subject to consultation and the approval of traffic regulation orders. Sometimes schemes are moved within the year or withdrawn altogether, whilst other schemes may be added or adjusted to replace those.

The paper taken to the March Cabinet meeting included the Active Travel schemes we are seeking to take forwards, subject to appropriate approvals being granted following consultation and engagement.


Next steps

A report detailing all of the above was provided to members of the Transport for Norwich Joint Committee at a meeting on 29 July at which councillors approved the plans to progress to formal consultation on the Traffic Regulation Order required for implementation.

The report is available on the Transport for Norwich Joint Committee web page and you can also listen back to the meeting on YouTube

Details of the formal consultation will be available on from Friday 19 November and residents have until Tuesday 14 December to lodge any formal objections.

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